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Author Topic: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?  (Read 3585 times)

Online Earther

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Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« on: November 06, 2009, 04:42:20 PM »
I've been drooling over the Empress range of late and, with Plynkes showing off his Ngoni to all and sundry, I am feel an overwhelming temptation to game some South African shenanigans.

I'm not a sweeping battle type of guy, and only know a little about the Anglo-Zulu Wars. So, my question is this - are there any records of skirmish style dust-ups involving redcoats, or can anyone inspire me with scenario ideas? Can you get me to lay down some cash on Empress Brits and other Darkest Africa gubbins?

Offline Malamute

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2009, 05:18:45 PM »
Yes I think there are enough for you.

Scouting outside the besieged Eshowe mission had its share of skirmishes.
The first invasion with the attack on Sihayo's Kraal.These are several that spring to mind without digging out any books.

Especially now Empress are doing cavalry you can have much fun with mounted troops engaging is sniping and skirmishing with those fleet of foot Zulu. ;D

Even the larger engagements like Isandlwana lend themselves to some skirmishing with the flight to the buffalo river, trying to get your redcoats etc off the table, some last stands etc.

Yep go for it.  :D
"These creatures do not die like the bee after the first sting, but go on age after age, feeding on the blood of the living"  - Abraham Van Helsing

Offline Plynkes

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 05:24:34 PM »
The Death of the Prince Imperial is something I always fancied gaming. A scouting party including Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial of France in exile (Napoleon III's son) versus about 40 Zulus (you could easily do it with less and still get a good game). Previous to that they had been on a few scouting missions that nearly turned into fights.

The besieged troops at the Eshowe mission station were involved various skirmishes with their besiegers including a raid on Dabulamanzi's Kraal, which I once gamed many years ago in 15mm.

Of course, you could also do episodes from larger actions, such as an Isandlwana "save the colours" game. Also a "hunt for Cetshwayo" game with the King's Dragoon Guards might be fun, too.

I certainly think there is some scope for skirmish games in the Zulu War.


Edit: Bit of crossover there with Malamute's ideas. His post wasn't there when I started typing. I wasn't copying his work, miss, honest. I can't even see his book from my desk.   :)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 05:28:13 PM by Plynkes »
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Offline Malamute

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 05:38:30 PM »
The Death of the Prince Imperial is something I always fancied gaming. A scouting party including Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial of France in exile (Napoleon III's son) versus about 40 Zulus (you could easily do it with less and still get a good game).

Yep that's a good one. :)

Offline Gallowglass

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 06:21:20 PM »
Yep that's a good one. :)

There's a link to a version of that very scenario on this page:

http://members.fortunecity.com/dawyvern/rencounter.html

Specifically, the link is here:

http://tetrad.stanford.edu/renc/Zulus.html

Unfortunately, the link doesn't work - not for me, anyway. Perhaps somebody more tech-savvy than myself could find a back door.....
Note: No trees were killed in the sending of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

Offline Gallowglass

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 06:25:38 PM »
Well, I had a rummage around and here's a copy of the scenario that I had saved in a Word doc. The map was in some odd format, so it looks dodgy here..

The stats are for the Rencounter set of rules linked to above, so it ought to be easy enough to convert them to one's preferred skirmish system.

"The Death of Louis, Crown Prince of France"

A skirmish scenario set in Zululand, 1879

SETTING:
Louis Napoleon, Prince Royal of France, had come to serve as an aide-de-camp to General Chelmsford in Africa by way of a long chain of events. His father, Napoleon III, and his family had come to England in exile from France in 1870. Louis was admitted to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich (where officers of the Engineers and Artillery were trained) but was
ineligible for commission as an officer of the artillery due to his background. Anxious to prove himself in combat, Louis asked to be allowed to go to Africa when reinforcement began to leave for Zululand in February, 1879.

General Chelmsford was understandably nervous about the responsibility of having such a personage on his staff. He gave orders that Louis was never to leave camp without an officer and an escort. Another member of the staff, Lieutenant Carey, had been educated in France and quickly befriended the Prince Royal. Before long the young Napoleon was assigned to help Carey with his task as Deputy-Assistant-Quartermaster-General: the surveying of the terrain in front of the advancing British army.

On one such mission, the pair was met by half of their escort, six colonial mounted infantry. The other half of the escort, six troopers of the Edendale troop, apparently reported to the wrong tent and were not available. Reasoning that a proper escort could be formed by rounding up
six troopers from the scouts out in front of the army, the group set out on their mission.

Carey, technically the superior officer of the group, was somewhat overawed by the charisma and natural leadership of Napoleon, and soon demurred command of the patrol to the young Prince. When no scouts were found to add to the escort, Louis decided to continue and Carey said nothing to stop him.

The group rode out to the limit of their assigned reconnaissance and stopped to sketch the terrain. Some distance off there was a small kraal on the north bank of the Ityotosi river, and Louis suggested that they stop there and gather fuel and water so that the men could prepare coffee for
themselves. The kraal was surrounded on three sides by close and dense brush, but Carey gave in and the group settled in by the bank for lunch. Lunch over, the patrol stood by there horses to mount. Louis was about to order the mount when a volley of rifle shots rang out and a group
of thirty Zulus charged from the nearby underbrush. This scenario attempts to recreate the situation at that moment. The outcome, hopefully, will be somewhat different from what actually transpired.

MAP:

   +----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+
   |^^        |          |          |          |          |          |
   |  ^^^^^^^ |     ^^^^^^^^^      ^^^^        |    ^^^^^^^^^^       |
   |^^       ^^^^^^^     |   ^^^^^^ |  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^      |   ^^^^^^^|
   |  ^^^^^^^ |     ^^^^^^^^^      ^^^^        |    ^^^^^^^^^^       |
   |         ^^^^^^^     |   ^^^^^^ |  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^      |   ^^^^^^^|
   +----------+----------+--------Donga--------+----------+----------+
   |vvv       |          vvvvvvvvvv |     vvvvvvvvvv      |          |
   |   vvv    |   vvvvvvv|         vvvvvvv     |    vvvvvvv      vvvv|
   |vvv   vvvvvvvv       vvvvvvvvvv |     vvvvvvvvvv      |vvvvvv    |
   |   vvv    |   vvvvvvv|         vvvvvvv     |    vvvvvvv      vvvv|
   |      vvvvvvvv       |          |          |          |vvvvvv    |
   +----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+
   |          |          |          |          |          |          |
   |          |          |          |      ::::|          |          |    N
   |          |          |          |     :::: |          |          |    |
   |          |     :::::|          |      ::  |          |          | W--+--E
   |          |   :::::::::         |          |          |          |    |
   +----------+-----::::::::--------+----------+----------+----------+    S
   |:         |         :::         |          |          |          |
   |::        |          |          |          |          |          |
   |::        |          |          |          |          |       :::|
   |:::::     |          |          |          |          |     :::::|
   |::::::::::|          |          |          |          | :::::::::|
   +::::::::::+::--------+----------+----------+--------::+::::::::::+
   |:::::::::::::::      |          |          |      :::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::    |          |          |    :::::::::::::::::|
   |::::::::::::::::::   |          |          |   ::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::  |          |          |  :::::::::::::   :::|
   |::::   ::::::::::::  |          |          | :::::::::::::: F :::|
   +:::: B :::+::::::::--+----------+----------+::::::::::+::::   :::+
   |::::   ::::::::::::  |          |          | ::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::  |          |          | ::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::: |          |          | ::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::: |        A |          | ::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::: |          |          | ::::::::::::::::::::|
   +::::::::::+::::::::--+----------+----------+-:::::::::+::::::::::+
   |:::::::::::::::::::  |          |          | ::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::  |  XXXX    |   XXXX   |  :::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::   :::::::::  |  XXXX    |   XXXX   |  :::::::::::::::::::|
   |::::::: C ::::::::   |          |          |  :::::::   :::::::::|
   |:::::::   ::::::::   XXXX  The Kraal  XXXX |  ::::::: E :::::::::|
   +::::::::::+:::::::---XXXX-------+-----XXXX-+-::::::::   :::::::::+
   |::::::::::::::::::   |          |          |:::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::::: |     XXXX |  XXXX    ::::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::   ::     XXXX |  XXXX    ::::::::::::::::::::::|
   |::::::::::::::::: D :::::::     |        ::::::::::::::::::::::::|
   |:::::::::::::::::   :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::|
   +::::::::::+::::::::::+::::::::::+::::::::::+::::::::::+::::::::::+
   |      ::::|::::::::  |          |          |    :::::::::::::::::|
   |~~~~~     |         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~       |          |
   |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
   |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ityotosi River ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
   |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
   +----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+----------+


Each square in the map above represents 6" x 6" of table space.


NOTES ON THE TERRAIN:

The Ityotosi River: The river is wide and fairly deep here. No crossing is possible here, even on horseback, without severe risk. For game purposes, this terrain is not passable.

The Donga: The donga is a gully cut by the flow of water over many years. The bottom is now dry. The sides, while steep, are not impassible. Figures on foot and mounted may move up or down the sides of the donga at half rate. The bottom of the donga is flat and movement is at normal rate there.

Brush: The areas marked with ":" characters are covered with patches of mealies, brush, scattered stones and the occasional tree. Figures move at normal rate through this area, and gain soft cover if kneeling or prone in the brush. If playing by marking an area as brush, prone figures in the brush may not draw line of sight, or be seen, through more than four inches of brush. If the brush is represented by small clumps of model brush, line of sight should be determined using actual line of sight.

The Kraal: The five buildings of the Kraal are sturdy mud huts with few windows.

Open ground: All unmarked areas of ground, including the donga, should be sparsely populated with boulders, small clumps of brush and occasionally small trees to offer some cover. The areas should, however, be mostly open ground. Any figures behind rocks or trees, of course, should be allowed hard cover.

BRITISH VICTORY CONDITIONS:
Escape off the North side of the table, taking as few casualties as possible. If five or more British figures (including the guide), or the Prince Royal, are killed or left behind, the game is lost.

BRITISH SETUP:
The British forces set up at point A on the map, next to their horses, with the exception of Carey, who is already mounted. Being caught by surprise, all pistols are holstered, and all carbines are slung.

BRITISH FORCES:

1 - Louis Napoleon, Prince Imperial of France
Experience: Veteran (5)
Firing Skill: Pistol (6)
Melee Skill: Sword (9), Assegai (7)
Equipment: Large SA Revolver (loaded), 12 reloads, Sword

2 - Lieutenant J.B. Carey, 98th Regiment, D.A.Q.M.G.
Experience: Average (4)
Firing Skill: Pistol (8)
Melee Skill: Sword (9), Assegai (7)
Equipment: Large SA Revolver (loaded), 12 reloads, Sword

Escort, of the Natal Horse:
3 - Sergeant Willis
Experience: Veteran (5)
Firing Skill: Carbine (8)
Melee Skill: Fixed Bayonet (9), Assegai (7)
Equipment: Breechloading Carbine (loaded), 20 reloads, Socket Bayonet

4 - Corporal Grubb
Experience: Veteran (5)
Firing Skill: Carbine (8)
Melee Skill: Fixed Bayonet (8), Assegai (6)
Equipment: Breechloading Carbine (loaded), 20 reloads, Socket Bayonet

5 - Trooper Abel
Experience: Veteran (5)
Firing Skill: Carbine (7)
Melee Skill: Fixed Bayonet (7), Assegai (5)
Equipment: Breechloading Carbine (loaded), 12 reloads, Socket Bayonet

6 - Trooper Cochrane
Experience: Average (4)
Firing Skill: Carbine (8), Pistol (7)
Melee Skill: Fixed Bayonet (9), Assegai (7)
Equipment: Breechloading Carbine (loaded), 15 reloads,
Large SA Revolver (loaded), 12 reloads, Socket Bayonet

7 - Trooper Rogers
Experience: Average (4)
Firing Skill: Carbine (7)
Melee Skill: Fixed Bayonet (7), Assegai (5)
Equipment: Breechloading Carbine (loaded), 20 reloads, Socket Bayonet

8 - Trooper Le Tocq
Experience: Veteran (5)
Firing Skill: Carbine (9)
Melee Skill: Fixed Bayonet (7), Assegai (5)
Equipment: Breechloading Carbine (loaded), 15 reloads, Socket Bayonet

Zulu guide
Experience: Average (4)
Firing Skill: Carbine (4)
Melee Skill: Assegai (8)
Equipment: Assegai (Sword), Large Shield

For this scenario, each British figure acts as an independent unit.

ZULU VICTORY CONDITIONS:
Kill as many of the British invaders as possible. If the Zulus kill at least 5 of the British figures (including the guide), they have won.

ZULU SETUP:
The Zulu units set up at the positions indicated with each unit's description.

ZULU FORCES:

Group 1: (Set up at position B)
Leader
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 1
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Cap and Ball Rifle, 6 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 2
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 3
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 4
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 5
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield

Group 2: (Set up at position C)
Leader
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 1
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Breechloader Rifle, 8 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 2
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 3
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 4
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 5
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield

Group 3: (Set up at position D)
Leader
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 1
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Cap and Ball Rifle, 8 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 2
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Breechloader Rifle, 12 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 3
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 4
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 5
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield

Group 4: (Set up at position E)
Leader
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 1
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Breechloader Rifle, 6 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 2
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 3
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 4
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 5
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield

Group 5: (Set up at position F)
Leader
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 1
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Breechloader Rifle, 10 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 2
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (5), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Breechloader Rifle, 7 reloads, Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 3
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 4
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Assegai (9)
Assegai (Sword), Large Shield
Zulu Soldier 5
Veteran (5), Firing Skill: Gun (4), Assegai (6), Melee Skill: Knbker. (9)
Knobkerrie (Club), Large Shield

SPECIAL RULES:

The Zulu units each get one free activation before the normal start of play. The Zulu player may use these activations in any order he chooses.

The sudden appearance of the Zulus and the gunfire spooked the horses. On the first activation of any of the British figures, the respective horse will attempt to bolt on a roll of 6 on 1D6. If this occurs, the figure holding the horse must roll LESS THAN his experience level on 1D6 in order to keep hold of the horse. If Carey's horse bolts, and he fails to control the horse, he is thrown from the horse AND the horse bolts. Any horse which bolts will gallop at full speed for the North edge. In any case, the horses will be difficult to mount. For each attempted mount, the
figure must roll LESS THAN his experience level on 1d6 in order to mount. Mounting a horse takes 1 action whether successful or not.

AFTERMATH:

Terrified by the noise, Rogers' mount bolted, and he got off only one shot before being stabbed by an assegai. Carey, already mounted, followed by Willis, Grubb and Cochrane, galloped straight for the donga. Abel managed to mount, but was shot in the back and fell. Le Tocq dropped his carbine, dismounted to retrieve it, and remounted. As he fled he saw Louis running
alongside his own horse, trying to get into the saddle. Gripping his saddle by the holster and running with the animal, the leather tore and he fell. As the horse ran, it's hooves smashed his right hand. Seven Zulus approached and Louis, his sword missing, drew his revolver left-handed and ran to a low mound. He was struck in the thigh by a thrown assegai, which he pulled out.
Assegai clutched in his injured hand, he charged the Zulu, firing his pistol twice. He missed, and a second thrown assegai stopped his charge. The Zulus advanced and were seen stabbing over and over again. When his body was recovered, Louis was found to have seventeen stab wounds,
all in front. Lieutenant Carey was court-martialed for Misbehaviour Before the Enemy, but was eventually cleared of the charges.

NOTES ON UNIFORMS:
Louis Napoleon wore the uniform of the Royal Artillery: blue patrol jacket, blue serge trousers with a single red stripe tucked into black gaiters, and the foreign service helmet. Staff officers, too, favored the blue patrol jacket and so Lieutenant Carey was probably dressed in similar fashion.

The notes in my reference work are unclear as to the uniforms of the Natal Horse. The troop was formed from the colonial officers and NCOs of the disbanded 3rd Natal Native Contingent, but whether they maintained the same uniforms from their prior service or not is unclear. I would suggest using the uniforms of the Colonial Mounted Infantry: foreign service helmet, scarlet serge frock coat, blue trousers with a single red stripe, and an ammunition bandolier in place of the infantry's belt pouches.

SOURCE:
"The Zulu War: A Pictorial History", Michael Barthorp. Blandford Press, Ltd.
1984, London. ISBN 0-7137-1469-7.

Picture source: The Illustrated Lond News, 1879

Offline Svennn

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 06:32:37 PM »
Not wanting to appear too much of a luddite or poopoo the great info already supplied but what is wrong with just using a bit of imagination? Handfull of Brits, larger amount of Zulus and whatever terrain you have - game on.
"A jewelled sceptre plucked by order to serve their cause"

Offline Gallowglass

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 06:46:23 PM »
Battlegames put out this free PDF:

http://www.battlegames.co.uk/documents/BG14-Zulu_special.pdf

We "moved' to the Sudan and played this, subbing Beja and Ansar for the Zulus. T'was fun.

Offline gunnermax2

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2009, 08:07:31 PM »
Have you checked out the Zoulouland comics? Think you can still get hold of them in hard copy but might set you back a bit, or you can get them as PDF online from a french site if I recall correctly. Wonderfully illustrated and a great inspiration for some small skirmishes as well all the major battles.

Online Earther

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Re: Colonial Skirmishes - should I jump in?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2009, 08:13:54 PM »
Great suggestions all. I'm beginning to waver…

And Svenn I understand what you are saying, but if I were to enter what is a new period for me, I'd at least like the feel to be right even if my scenarios are made up. I know there is more to the AZW than lines of Brits vs. horns, loins etc. and this thread is successfully showing me the skirmish potential available - which is what I asked for.

Once I get a true feel for the AZW, by all means, I'll use my imagination. I prefer 'adventure' games to rigidly historical games anyway. Still, yours was a very valid point and I thank you for it.

Gunnermax2 - thanks for the suggestion. I'll see what I can dig up online.

 

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